Pressure ulcers, more commonly referred to as bed sores, is one of the most common health conditions in the USA. The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) estimates that more than 2.5 million Americans develop bed sores every year with the prevalence in intensive care units averaging around 20.7 percent. Although anyone can be affected by bed sores, it disproportionately affects older patients and in particular, those experiencing immobility that impedes their movement. There are numerous treatment options available for individuals with bedsores ranging from antibiotics and anabolic steroids to phototherapy and skin grafts. There are also a number of natural approaches that can be taken to alleviate the pain associated with bed sores as well as encourage complete wound healing.
Turmeric has long been touted as a superfood that can provide us with powerful nutrients contained in its main component, curcumin. According to the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Chemistry, turmeric can be used to aid in the treatment of many health-related problems due to its distinct anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties. The topical application of turmeric on a wound such as a bed sore can aid in the formation of new skin cells that will close the wound. Its antibiotic property will further kill certain strains of bacteria thus preventing infection from setting in. Before applying pure, organic turmeric to the wound site it is important to clean it thoroughly with a saline solution. After sprinkling turmeric on the wound the site has to be covered with a clean, dry bandage. For optimal results repeat the process 2 to 3 times a day.
Like turmeric, honey is also considered to be a potent natural antiseptic that can be used extensively in the treatment of bedsores. Honey can help sanitize the bed sores, reduce the pus, relief pain as well as speed up new cell generation. According to research published in the US National Library of Medicine, honey has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and can be used as a wound dressing to promote speedy and improved healing. Although any honey can be used, it is recommended to make use of a raw, organic variety due to its high acidity and osmotic effect.
While topical remedies for bed sores are very popular, the power of a healthy, nutrient-dense diet is often overlooked when it comes to wound care. A diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals will render healthy skin that is more resistant to the pressure that causes bed sores. Some of the most essential nutrients to include in the diet of a bed sore patient include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E as well as adequate amounts of protein and fiber that will promote cell regeneration and wound repair. There are countless good food sources available with even some lesser-known options such as the following being of extreme benefit to wound healing:
Unless you suffer from a seafood allergy, salmon, tuna, cod and shellfish can all readily be incorporated into your wound-managing diet. Seafood is not only a great source of protein but also contains high levels of omega 3 and omega fatty acids that are of significant benefit to both hair and skin health.
Cauliflower is one of the most underrated vegetables of our times. Cauliflower is high in protein with a single cup (approximately 100g) containing as much as 2 grams of protein and only 25 calories. The humble vegetable is also a great source of Vitamins C and K as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. An added benefit of cauliflower is that it is gentle on the system and can be easily digested, even by a bed-ridden individual.
Living with bed sores can be truly harrowing and treatment should compromise of both management as well as wound healing. As beneficial as natural remedies may be it is recommended to always discuss any treatment options with a qualified medical practitioner in order to choose the best options for a particular individual. What works well for one person may not work equally as well for another and it may be necessary to attempt a few treatment options before settling on the most effective one.